How to Keep Time with Merengue Music

Learn how to keep time with the music when dancing merengue from professional dancers Ernesto Palma and Crystal Rodriguez in this Howcast dance video

Transcript

Speaker 1: Timing. One of the most important things about dancing. Stay on time. Every time you go to a class all your teachers will tell you, "Stay on time."

The timing in Merengue is one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. Also for musicians as they do.

Speaker 2: To a musician I would probably explain it as we keep time in four-four and to measure a beat of four beats. As a dancer we combine those two bars and we create eight. So we count one, two, three, four, five, six, seven and eight. That's how I would explain it to a musician so that they can see that's how long we're gonna be dancing for that measure.

Speaker 1: If you're an inexperienced musician or inexperienced dancer, you're just a regular person who wants to learn and you don't hear the beat but you hear maybe something stronger in the music that must be the count one.

Every single time you count one and you count five sometimes it sounds really similar though the one is a little much stronger and more clearer. So listen to whatever music you have. Every song should have a one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, you can find it.

Speaker 2: A good tip that would help as well is that whenever a new instrument comes into the song or a musician comes into the song, that's your one.

Speaker 1: Something simple to think about. You place your car in cruise control, that means you have found the speed you like and that you keep on going. The car won't slow down and it won't speed up. Same for the music when you're dancing.

As soon as you find a tempo, the speed of the song, you find it, stay on it, do not slow down, do not speed up.

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